Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Tough Being Loved by Jerks

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Special introduction by New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff

When twelve cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad were published by Denmark’s largest newspaper in 2005, European muslim groups denounced the cartoons as insulting and sacrilegious. To everyone’s surprise, the protests against the Muhammad drawings took a worldwide scale, even leading to violent demonstrations in several Muslim countries. In France, the satirical news magazine Charlie Hebdo joined the conversation and reprinted the controversial cartoons, causing an uproar among the country’s growing Muslim population. Months later, the Great Mosque of Paris, the World Muslim League and the Union of Islamic Organizations of France took Charlie Hebdo’s editor Philippe Val to court for defamation and incitement of hatred.

TOUGH BEING LOVED BY JERKS offers a real-time account of the ensuing trial, arguably one most divisive and heated legal proceedings in recent French history. The film features lawyers, witnesses, journalists, editorial conferences, demonstrations of support, as well as the reactions of the prosecutors and Muslim leaders around the world. Given new relevance after the January 7, 2015, attacks at the Charlie Hebdo offices, which left 12 dead and 11 wounded, TOUGH BEING LOVED BY JERKS also features candid interviews (and rarely seen behind-the-scenes moments) with acclaimed Charlie Hebdo cartoonists, such as Cabu, Charb, Tignous and Wolinski, who were killed on January 7. As such, the film offers a unique perspective into the current debate around France’s founding ideals and its current realities.


Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Director Pawel Pawlikowski in person! Academy Award nominee — Best Foreign Film & Best Cinematography! One show only

From acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski (Last Resort, My Summer of Love) comes Ida, a moving and intimate drama about a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who, on the verge of taking her vows, makes a shocking discovery about her past.

18-year old Anna (stunning newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska), a sheltered orphan raised in a convent, is preparing to become a nun when the Mother Superior insists she first visit her sole living relative. Naïve, innocent Anna soon finds herself in the presence of her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza), a worldly and cynical Communist Party insider, who shocks her with the declaration that her real name is Ida and her Jewish parents were murdered during the Nazi occupation. This revelation triggers a heart-wrenching journey into the countryside, to the family house and into the secrets of the repressed past, evoking the haunting legacy of the Holocaust and the realities of postwar Communism.

In this beautifully directed film, Pawlikowski returns to his native Poland for the first time in his career to confront some of the more contentious issues in the history of his birthplace. Powerfully written and eloquently shot, Ida a masterly evocation of a time, a dilemma, and a defining historical moment; Ida is also personal, intimate, and human. The weight of history is everywhere, but the scale falls within the scope of a young woman learning about the secrets of her own past. This intersection of the personal with momentous historic events makes for what is surely one of the most powerful and affecting films of the year.

New French Shorts 2015

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Filmmaker Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre (RABBIT) in person!

The third annual showcase for the best in new French shorts, this one-night-only event boasts a selection of comedy, animation and drama, including selections from Cannes and Rotterdam, the 2014 Cesar winner for Best Animated Short and the winner of the Golden Bear for Best Short at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival. The program also features a sneak preview of RABBIT before its screening at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival, as well as a Q&A with director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre. Presented by IFC Center and UniFrance films.

THE RUNAWAY - New York Premiere! (La fugue, dir. Jean-Bernard Marlin, 22 min.) Golden Bear for Best Short Film, Berlin Film Festival. A social worker from a group home for troubled youth takes one of his charges for a court hearing that will determine her future.

KIKI OF MONTPARNASSE - New York Premiere! (Mademoiselle Kiki et les Montparnos, dir. Amelie Harrault, 14 min.) Cesar Award for Best Animated Short. An animated ode to avant-garde Paris of the early 20th century, inspired by the life of one of its muses.

THE AMERICA OF WOMANKIND  – US Premiere! (L’Amerique de la femme, dir. Blandine Lenoir, 18 min.) While chatting in the kitchen, three thirty- and fortysomething sisters, home visiting their mother in the country, realize that one of their teenage daughters is having sex upstairs.

AÏSSA (dir. Clément Tréhin-Lalanne, 8 min.) Official selection: Cannes Film Festival. After being detained by the police, a young illegal immigrant seeks protection as a minor, but a doctor must examine her to verify her story.

BUTTER LAMP - New York Premiere! (La lampe au beurre de yak, dir. Wei Hu, 15 min.) Official selection: Sundance, Rotterdam. In Tibet, an itinerant photographer offers clients a chance to travel the globe.

RABBIT - US Premiere! (dir. Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre, 16 min.) Official selection: Sundance Film Festival 2015. A woman held in a high-security prison in Washington State gets an unusual pet.

Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Q&A w/ director Brad Bernstein & Tomi Ungerer! Stranger Than Fiction Winter 2015 sneak preview — admission included with purchase of an STF Winter 2015 season pass

Tomi Ungerer makes a rare trip from Ireland to New York City for a new retrospective at The Drawing Center in SoHo. We’re taking advantage to host him at STF for this special screening of this “captivating” film profile that was a New York Times Critics’ Pick.

Tomi Ungerer’s career defies easy description. He rose to prominence in the late 1950s as the creator of acclaimed children’s books such as Crictor, Emile, and The Three Robbers. “I dare say, no one was as original,” says Maurice Sendak. “Tomi influenced everybody.” His creativity crossed multiple boundaries. In the 1960s, he drew iconic protest posters for the anti-war and civil rights movements. Fueled by his own desires, he created lavish books of erotica with titles like Fornicon. But these multiple identities couldn’t coexist. When his adult work came to the attention of the American Library Association in the early seventies, his children’s books were effectively banned. He relocated from New York City to more remote corners in Nova Scotia, then Ireland, where he maintains a low profile today.

Director Brad Bernstein performs a laudable act of rediscovery by tracking down Ungerer and coaxing him into this documentary. As we see on camera, it wasn’t easy. Ungerer is still haunted by the traumas of his childhood. Born in 1931 in the French region of Alsace, he suffered the death of his father at an early age and lived through the Nazi occupation. The memories are so painful for Ungerer to revisit that he initially resists Bernstein’s attempts at an interview.

Fortunately, Bernstein persevered, and what comes forth is an extraordinary artistic portrait. When Ungerer opens up, he speaks with a twinkle in his eye and a gift with language that’s equal to his drawing talents. His studio is a shrine to his fecund imagination, decorated with surrealist sculptures of his own design. The film brings his two-dimensional artwork to life with delightful animation. As for the explicit bondage drawings that once got him in trouble: by today’s standards they could serve as illustrations for Fifty Shades of Grey. But that doesn’t mean society has caught up with Ungerer. He’s still more far out than most of us will ever get.

- Thom Powers’ catalogue description from the Toronto International Film Festival

The Cruise: Special Screening with Bennett Miller and Ira Glass

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

SundanceNow Doc Club presents a special screening of Bennett Miller’s first film THE CRUISE , followed by a discussion between the FOXCATCHER director and Ira Glass.

Screening on 35mm, Miller’s 1998 breakthrough film explores the worldview and personality of New York City bus tour guide Timothy “Speed” Levitch as he takes tourists around the island of Manhattan, beautifully captured in black and white.

“One thing I love about THE CRUISE,” says Glass, “is how your idea of what the film is about shifts over the course of it. It’s very rare for any film or any work of art to do that… In The Cruise, you feel about a million different things about Timothy “Speed” Levitch. He’s the un-Bill Cunningham – the way Speed sees the streets of New York is all legend and dream – but also weirdly inspiring, and the two films would make a great double feature. Bennett Miller’s amazing, that he could meet Speed and imagine this complex, gorgeous, beautifully-shot film.”

THE CRUISE is one of the documentaries included in “Ira Glass Favorites,” a collection of Glass’s favorite documentaries curated exclusively for SundanceNow Doc Club, a streaming video subscription service for documentary lovers.


Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Post-film discussion with Mike Myers!

In his directorial debut, Mike Myers brings a comic touch to documenting the astounding career of consummate Hollywood insider Shep Gordon. Making playful use of archival footage, new interviews, and his own close relationship with the legendary talent manager, Myers reveals a man who has embraced his dualities: a harddriving dealmaker who wants everyone to be happy, a rock ‘n’ roll hedonist who yearns for a family. Against a backdrop of debauchery, he’s a man on a spiritual quest. These contradictions make him a fascinating documentary subject.

Shep launched his career after a chance encounter with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix. He went on to manage an eclectic list of musicians including Alice Cooper, Blondie, and Anne Murray. He produced films and even helped develop the celebrity chef movement.

Myers first met Shep when negotiating a song for use in Wayne’s World. Their long-time friendship gives us the feeling of eavesdropping on close confidants. Adding to the story are lively conversations with Alice Cooper, Michael Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, Emeril Lagasse and more. The film delivers on behind-the-scenes gossip and insights, but goes beyond the normal showbiz biography, offering deeper reflection on the big questions of life. Shep is especially moved when he discusses being a guardian to four children, his relationship with the Dalai Lama and his philanthropy for the Tibet Fund.

Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” 2014

Thursday, September 18th, 2014
An evening of short films from Filmmaker’s recently announced 25 New Faces list, followed by discussions and Q&A’s with the filmmakers. Included will be new work from :: kogonada, including “Tempo/Basho,” a film essay on Yasujiro Ozu, and “Against Tyranny,” about Steven Soderbergh; dramatic shorts from Robert Eggers (“Brothers”) and Charlotte Glynn (“The Immaculate Reception”); short science fiction from Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell (“Prospect”); and a portrait of the author James Salter by Lily Henderson. Eggers, Glynn and :: kogonada will be in attendance for questions and a discussion of short filmmaking.

Bronx Obama

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

Stranger Than Fiction Fall 2014 sneak preview! Q&A with director Ryan Murdock and film subject Louis Ortiz!

Free admission with purchase of a season pass to STF’s Fall 2014 eight-week tribute to DA Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus — click here to purchase

NYC PREMIERE. When Louis Ortiz shaved off his goatee one day in 2008, his life changed forever. He looked in the mirror and he didn’t see himself – a middle-aged, unemployed Puerto Rican father from the Bronx. He saw the face of change, of hope… of money. Bronx Obama tells the strange and improbable tale of a Barack Obama impersonator who tries to cash in on the “look of a lifetime” and chases a fevered American dream from opportunity to oblivion.

Filmmaker Ryan Murdock’s debut feature film has been in the making for nearly 3 years, as he intimately documented Mr. Ortiz’s transformation during Obama’s first term and the 2012 election season. Murdock has rolled out this story in multiple parts – first as a 36-minute radio piece for NPR’s This American Life, then as a short film for The New York Times. The 90-minute feature documentary reveals a host of new characters; a manager who pushes Louis hard to “become Obama,” a seasoned “Bill Clinton” who dispenses advice, and a hard-working “Mitt Romney” who bets it all on his newfound career. Murdock captures unexpectedly hilarious moments along this Twilight-Zone-esque campaign trail while delving deep into the question of what it means to be someone you’re not.

Tween Hobo with Paper Moon

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Author Alena Smith in person! DCP projection

For the release of the new comic novel, “Tween Hobo: Off the Rails,” author (and writer for The Newsroom) Alena Smith (@TweenHobo) will present one of the original tween hobos in Peter Bogdanovich’s PAPER MOON. After the screening, programmer and critic Miriam Bale will discuss the film’s place in the tween cultural tradition with Ms. Smith, followed by a book signing.

“In 1973’s Depression-set comedy, Tatum O’Neal gives a legendary performance as 9-year-old Addie Loggins, who may or may not be the daughter of con man Moses Pray, played by Tatum’s real-life father, Ryan O’Neal. Addie and Moze join forces and scam their way across America, on a road trip full of hillbillies, bootleggers, gold-diggers, and carnival barkers.” – Alena Smith

Truffaut’s “Antoine Doinel” Cycle

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Screening as part of our “Time Regained: Cinema’s Present Perfect” series, this special all-day presentation includes all four features and one short starring the iconic Jean-Pierre Léaud as the filmmaker’s alter ego. Special “Antoine-a-thon” ticket available for admission to all Doinel films for $30 ($20 IFC Center members).


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